A law enforcement source confirmed reports that the NYPD suspects that the reported abduction in Washington Heights Friday evening was a "birthday prank."
Police received a phone call from a man claiming to be one of the individuals involved in the kidnapping. Cops say he told them when he returned from an out-of-town trip, a friend's mother told him they were "all over the news" and to search "Washington Heights kidnapping" on the internet.
The caller reportedly told cops that there was no kidnapping; they were playing a practical joke for a friend's birthday.
They had originally planned a surprise party for the friend at a rental house in Pennsylvania, he told police, but when the friend found out about the surprise, they decided to fake an abduction.
The woman in the surveillance video was apparently the friend's girlfriend, cops said.
Police reported that there were seven people involved in the abduction. The car used was a rental. Six out of the seven people involved have insisted to police that earlier reports of a gun were incorrect.
No charges have been pressed as of yet.